Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ideas: SMS tells me where you are

GPS Ideas website still doesn't display much info about how to make maps. But according to JGUI GPS page, that was the first product of this Polish group of PPC programmers. I tried the version 1.5 Pro and besides being surprised by the use of sound to announce the GPS fix and the long time it took to load a cool, unreferenced picture of the Earth, there wasn't much else that could be tried.

GPS PI is their latest entry and is said to work on several phones (only Mobile or Phone editions of Pocket PC) but not on the Pocket PC 2002 or 2003. So this one I will pass for now.

But the fact that GPS PI sends SMS messages with location information shows an interesting trend, and quite a few interesting possibilities. GPS W.A.I.T. is another package with similar capabilities but with map support, where you can see someone's location in a phone after exchanging some SMS between cells.

For the soon to be left behind PocketPC users they offer Follow Me and Where Am I.

Where Am I is a digital compass and Follow Me offers three types of views: a visual track and a table of positions and the same digital compass found in WAmI with satellite strength info. There is no moving map support.

You can save a track and load it later, but you can't export or import it. A line in the track file includes entry #, time, latitude, longitude, altitude, average km/h and probably the sum of the total distance covered:

18,000158.204,36.986815,-121.932903,4.700000,3.776524,174.000000,

Settings made to one package will be found by another. There is no option to keep the taskbar visible, you are required to use the minimize option from the Program menu. These products seem to go more towards the "coolness" factor. Follow me ($19.99) and Where Am I ($9.99) and the other packages mentioned here can be found at Handago or PocketGear.